*note to self...DO NOT RENT STEALTH* Thanks for the heads up!
*note to self...DO NOT RENT STEALTH* Thanks for the heads up!
I just finished Stealth this morning. Not too bad, I would only recommend it if you are in the mood for a C-grade fighter pilot movie. Go rewatch Behind Enemy Lines instead!
"Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."
Skeleton Key - This one surprised me, I liked it much more than I was expecting to. A have a lot of friends from New Orleans, though, so I have a healthy respect for Hoodoo. I can't look at a buncle of little chicken bones and not shudder. Kate Hudson and Peter Sarsgaard (has he been in everything this year?) do fine jobs, but Gena Rowlands is the real standout here! An entertaining supernatural thriller, if you're in the mood.
Reefer Madness - Hilarious musical version of the 1930's propaganda film is loads of campy, crazy fun. Kristen Bell (of "Veronica Mars") is fantastic as an innocent bobby soxer. I'm a huge Alan Cumming fan, and he is as good as ever in this. Big Busby Berkeley dance numbers and even an appearance by Jesus, what more do you want from a musical about the "weed from the devil's garden"? (A little trivia, one of the co-creators of this musical is the head writer for "Desperate Housewives.")
Sending good vibes and warm fuzzies your way..., SnowflakeGirl
All New AMERICA'S TOP MODEL Recaps! Premiere Pt. 1 & Pt. 2, Ep. 3, Ep. 4, Dinah's Dynamite Ep. 5, Ep. 6, Ep. 7, Ep. 8, Ep. 9, Ep. 10, Ep. 11, Finale
Relive every beautiful moment of America's Next Top Model...Click here for links to prior season recaps & interviews.
"Skeleton Key - This one surprised me, I liked it much more than I was expecting to. A have a lot of friends from New Orleans, though, so I have a healthy respect for Hoodoo. I can't look at a buncle of little chicken bones and not shudder. Kate Hudson and Peter Sarsgaard (has he been in everything this year?) do fine jobs, but Gena Rowlands is the real standout here! An entertaining supernatural thriller, if you're in the mood."
Thanks for the haeds up. I was looking for something good for turkey day!
Blessed - a cheesy, not scary ripoff of Rosemary's baby. Don't bother.
Tarnation - a documentary of a gay man growing up in a very disturbed family. Still not sure how I feel about this one. The story was very moving but the way it was filmed irritated me...
It was me. I let the dogs out.
I vowed to watch a ton of classic movies that I had never seen before and the latest movie in my list was Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Let me just say this...the camera LOVED Audrey Hepburn..what a face!
I know a lot of people loved this movie,but I have to say I was a tad disappointed in it. I hated the ending and I felt like they could have had more adventures.....sorry if this upsets anyone who has seen it. It just wasn't my thing.
I had a much better time watching Breakfast At Tiffany's,but that is a another story.
Watched 1/2 of the trailer for ghosts of edendale(?) last night and didn't even bother with turning it on.
I watched American Pie Presents Band Camp today. It wasn't as good as the second AP movie which, of course, wasn't as good as the first. But if you're looking for a few crude, inappropriate jokes to laugh at, this one will do!
Getting lost will help you find yourself.
Like many films that have become my favorite films, I didn't intend to watch The Last Samurai but had it on cable for distraction while I ate lunch. I ended up watching most of it and programming TiVo to catch the rest. I wouldn't call it a favorite, but I was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it.
I'm not surprised it didn't find a wider audience (made for approx. $100 mil. US and grossing approx. $111 mil. in domestic box office) because it is mostly a workmanlike--albeit purty--film. Scripted by John Logan (Gladiator, Star Trek Nemesis), it carries the writer's signatures: characters who orate rather than just speak and big, sweeping dramatic scenes that substitute for nuance and feeling. Director Edward Zwick (Traffic) is also a tad ham-fisted. His camera work wouldn't overrule his characters if he had more confidence in his actors.
Tom Cruise plays, well, Tom Cruise...in samurai armor with a sword. Zwick manages to rein the (over-)actor in a bit. But only just.
And, yet, the film says some interesting things about culture and the military. In the late 1800's, the samurai culture is threatened when the Japanese emperor decides to adopt a more "Western" culture--from fashion to the military.
The samurai literally come under fire when they match sword against the emperor's Western guns. The film works best on this level when we witness how an entire culture can be subjugated and eradicated by a superior military force. (Although even here, it's a mite preachy.) That's a theme, I think, that we've seen not only throughout history, but relevant to our present situation, as well.
And herein lies the tragedy, when we witness an entire way of life with which a culture identifies disappearing forever not because of external forces, but worse, because of the internal forces at work, doing away with their very identity because of some misguided sense that another culture is "better" when it's not at all suitable for their nation. I was reminded of the polar bears in Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" books, who would rather ape human behavior than celebrate their polar bear-ness. Strange reference, I know, if you haven't read the books, but if you have or will or if you see the upcoming film, you'll know what I mean. But I digress.
Cruise's Nathan Algren is predictable as the "barbaric" Westerner whose eyes are opened to the Samurai's "noble" and "idyllic" life in pastoral Japan. (Contrast pastoral, Samurai Japan with urban, gritty, dystopic Western Japan.) I had to roll my eyes when Algren is so seduced by this way of life that he adopts the bushido code and in effect becomes samurai himself, up to and including fighting alongside the samurai against Western encroachment. We've seen it before, ad infinitum, ad nauseam.
And of course Algren is haunted by the things he's done in the past on the battlefield. And of course he falls in love with a (Japanese) woman. And of course he redeems himself on the battlefield. And of course after the climactic battle, he's...well, I won't spoil it, but you can probably guess.
Even though Cruise plays Cruise, I couldn't help but like Ken Watanabe as Katsumoto, the Charismatic Mentor Character (TM). It's a bit of a stereotype, too, but Watanabe plays samurai with such panache and conviction, you forget at times this is a film and not a documentary. Watanabe was equally good (if a tad wasted) in Batman Begins, and will no doubt find a larger American audience with the forthcoming Memoirs of a Geisha. (That is, if Geisha itself finds an audience.)
I found a spark of life in the story, something to enjoy in the cinematography (but also a little heavy-handed with its sweeping vistas of Japan), and a narrative that held my attention, even if I winced from time to time. And if nothing else, I'm simply glad that the Japanese characters don't all speak (heavily-accented) English, even when they're amongst themselves. The fact so much of the speaking is done in Japanese earns Zwick some kudos, in my eyes. A small thing, but appreciated.
If you haven't caught it before, give The Last Samurai a try, Cruise fan or not. You may be as pleasantly surprised as I was. As for lessons in military tactics, well, we learn that in the rock-paper-scissors game of firepower, gun beats sword. Every time, unfortunately.
"...Every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things donít always soften the bad things, but...the bad things donít always spoil the good things." - The Doctor